Carlson SES Volunteer of the Year
IAN Carlson does not let anything get in the way of his volunteer commitment to the Tweed Heads SES – not even cancer.
The unit controller even missed his presentation for Northern Rivers Volunteer Of The Year Award because he was at a State Emergency Service (SES) training course.
Mr Carlson, 50, was last week announced as winner of the prestigious title at a presentation in Ballina.
“It’s very exciting to win an award like this,” the Terranora resident said.
“But you feel very humble when you realise how many volunteers there are in the community.”
Mr Carlson’s fellow volunteers nominated him for the award.
“It’s nice to be recognised,” he said.
“It’s great competitions like this recognising the contributions volunteers make to the community.”
One of the award’s questions was “what sort of things has that person had to overcome to become a volunteer?”.
“Last year I had a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy for lymphoma,” said Mr Carlson, who is still battling the cancer.
“As long as I’m fit I just keep going. I try not to let it stop me.”
“Being a volunteer here it helps me take my mind off it.”
Mr Carlson said the 50-odd members who volunteer in the unit make it all worthwhile.
“The best thing is working with the volunteers, they’re a great group here, and being able to help the community in times of need,” he said.
“In the storms in May this year we had 245 calls just in the Tweed area.
“It was quite a busy time for our unit.”
Along with a certificate of recognition Mr Carlson was given $200 to donate to the organisation of his choice;, of course he chose the Tweed Heads SES.
The money will go to new rescue equipment.
Kingscliff Coastguard radio operator John Ingram, 87, won the Northern Rivers Senior Volunteer Of The Year Award.
The state winners will be announced in Sydney tomorrow, on the eve of International Volunteers Day.